12-13-1999

Anou, I don't know when in the series this is set, certainly before Endless Waltz, since I haven't seen that yet, and most likely before they all go into space. Oh well, it doesn't really matter. In any case, I don't own these characters, so please don't sue me no da. And since my mother's a lawyer, I might even win na no da ^_^

Enjoy!!

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It's a simple operation, so simple even a Gundam pilot can do it. Take the brush in your right hand, reach up to run it through your long hair.

Done.

Catch the hair to form a pony tail in your left hand...

And drop it again, biting your lip to repress the cry of pain as your recently-dislocated shoulder shrieks its protest.

Shit.

And again.

Duo launched the hairbrush across the room in disgust, narrowly missing the back of Heero's head where he sat, hunched over his computer.

"Goddamnit!" he exclaimed. Heero, as usual, ignored him. The two Gundam pilots were hiding out between missions, after an inconveniently-placed boulder had tripped-up Deathscythe during a battle and caused the dislocation of Duo's shoulder. The fact that he'd dispathced ten Mobile Suits from that prone position before Heero had stepped in to rescue him didn't make him feel any less stupid or embarrassed. :Damnit, why did Heero have to see that, anyway?: Duo thought morosely. :That 'perfect soldier' was probably howling with laughter at me while he was in Wing and he knew I couldn't hear him laugh:. Besides his embarrassment at the mistake, they'd had to take shelter in an abandoned, moldy, dusty warehouse. All in all, Duo was hurt, tired, damp, and had been trying to braid his hair for over an hour.

In typical Duo style, however, he bounded to his feet with a smile and trotted over to Heero. Draping his upper body over the back of the chair and wrapping his arms around the neck of the other pilot, he exclaimed cheerily.

"Hey old buddy, old pal!"

Heero, immovable as a rock, only muttered. "What do you want, now?"

"Could you do me a favour, best buddy?"

"What?"

"Could you braid my hair for me?"

This even took Heero by surprise, but as he turned to look incredulously at the other pilot, he got tangled in the curtain of hair. Sputtering and clawing the strands out of his face and mouth, he stood up to fling Duo off him, which Duo naturally took as assent.

"Thanks, Heero!" he said, scooping the hairbrush off the floor.

"Just a minute!" Heero said. When Duo looked at him innocently, his glare deepened. "I'll do it, IF I can have half an hour of silence from you in return."

"It's a promise!" Duo assured him. Heero plainly - and with good reason - didn't believe him, but took the brush and sat on the end of the mattress they used as a bed anyway, gesturing for Duo to sit on the floor between his knees.

Duo would never let on, but he knew he had only put his arms around Heero like that as an excuse to touch him. He took solace in the knowledge that Heero would never guess Duo's true motives - mentally, Heero was so focussed on his mission, he had no room to think of love. Besides, Duo knew full well that if Heero loved anyone, it was Relena. Certainly, he'd never shown any feeling for Duo. He would just have to accept that.

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Heero was in agony.

:Why does he do this to me?: he thought, unable to help himself from running his hand through Duo's long, silky, chestnut hair. :Does he even know what he does to me?: he wondered. :No, not possible:. Heero could see in his mind's eye the look of disgust and revulsion that Duo would give him if Heero were to reveal THAT to him. :"You?!" the mental Duo exclaimed "Why would I be attracted to YOU? You're a man, hentai!":.

No, Heero could never let him know how each glancing touch left tingles, how he lay awake at night, tortured by visions of Deathscythe exploding, of Duo's bloodstained, still body lying in tatters amid the ruins of his Gundam. Lying awake, wondering if he could bear to live if he let that happen. After too short a time, Heero bound the end of the braid with an elastic, rose, and sat back down in front of his computer. He couldn't remember if Duo had been silent or not during the operation, but in truth he didn't care. In a way, the sparring over Duo's chatter was just an excuse for Heero to talk to Duo, without dropping his mask.

"Has it been half an hour yet?" Duo broke into his thoughts with his usual exuberance. Heero checked his watch. Amazingly, only 15 minutes had passed, even though it had felt like an eternity.

"No."

"Darn." Duo huffed. A few seconds later, he appeared behind Heero, hunched over his shoulder to look at the computer screen. "What are you doing?" Heero resisted the urge to cover the screen to prevent Duo from seeing. It was a sudden, irrational urge that he quashed violently.

"We've been given a new mission, in New Hampshire. I'm altering school records at one of the schools there so we can get in."

"Well, I'll be glad to sleep in a proper bed again, that's for sure," Duo said. "And to not have to fight over the covers with you anymore."

Heero only grunted, refusing to rise to the bait.

"So what's the mission?"

Heero gave him a terse summary of the details, never taking his eyes from the screen and hoping that would keep the blush at bay. He could feel Duo's breath on his neck, and each one caused a wash of shivers to travel up and down his spine. In desperation, he finished his summary with, "Now, your half-hour isn't over, so go away, and shut up."

Duo pouted teasingly. "Well, I would have thought interest in our mission would count as shutting up."

"It doesn't."

"If you say so," he sighed dramatically. He crossed the room and flopped down onto the mattress, raising a cloud dust that sent him into a sneezing fit. No sooner did he recover, but he started rooting through his satchel, tossing clothes every which way until he found what he was looking for. With a sigh of satisfaction, he settled back on the mattress with the little hand-held computer game and busily began destroying the enemy. The bleeps and whistles filled the cavernous space and echoed off the walls. Heero sighed, if possible, Duo was even louder when he was being quiet.

That was when Heero finished his work.

"Damn," he muttered as he stared at the gently flashing 'COMPLETE' on the screen and racked his brain for something else to do. Such was his concentration, that he didn't notice that the sounds of the game had ceased until Duo planted his hands on his shoulders.

"Are you finished?"

Heero tried unsuccessfully to repress his start of surprise. "Yes, I'm finished," he said, after a pause.

Better than then to be caught temporizing.

"Can I use your computer? What games do you have on it?"

"I have no games on my computer."

"Weeeell, can I play around on the net, then?"

Heero rounded on Duo, barely holding his frustration in check. "No, you may NOT use my computer. It's late, we're going to bed, now."

"I'm not tired--" Heero cocked his fist.

"Yes, you are."

Duo immediately backed down, bringing his hands up to protect his face. "Uh, yeah Heero, you're right, I am feeling sleepy all of a sudden." He hopped into bed. "See, I'm going to bed now like a good little boy." Heero snorted in derision. He went through the room like a hurricane, snatching up articles of clothing and launching them unerringly into the mouth of Duo's satchel. Then he doused the light and lay down.

No sooner did he do so, but he was smothered by a hug from Duo that left his breathing hard and his heart beating against his chest wall like a club. "Thanks for doing my hair, Heero." Duo said, and promptly fell asleep. As his soft snores rose into the air, Heero sighed; this was going to be another wakeful night.

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Duo had never quite recovered from the brushing of his hair, but he tried hard not to show it. Still, he ached to feel Heero's hands tangled in his hair again. Ached to feel his breath on the back of his neck again. Ached so much that he couldn't help but try to relieve it by hugging Heero, even though he knew it was on the thinnest of pretexts. But was hurt most was the uncaring grunt he got in return. His face burning with shame and desire, he closed his eyes and went to sleep. And dreamed...

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Heero awoke at the sound of his name. Instantly, his breath caught in his thoat as he registered where he was. Duo's arm was flung across him and drawn gently around his chest. His lips tickled the back of his neck as he breathed. Heero was suddenly and instantly hard and he squeezed his eyes shut in the effort to control himself. Finally, he was able to speak in something approaching his normal tone of voice. "Duo, wake up."

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As well-trained as he was, Duo had never been good at obeying that particular command. He grunted a muffled "What, Heero?" then came fully awake has what he was doing penetrated his sleep-fogged brain. With a curse, he pulled away, unconsciously raising his hands to ward off the blow he was sure would follow. "S-sumimasen, Heero. Gomen nasai."

Heero was now lying on his side, facing awayfrom him an obviously didn't even consider him worth punching for the transgression, for he didn't move. "Iie. Forget it. Go to sleep and keep your hands to yourself."

"Right! Will do," Duo saluted, the gesture wasted on the dark room, and tried not to sound as miserable as he felt. He lay down again, resolutely turning his back on Heero and trying to think unsexy thoughts. :All right, uh...: Almost unbidden, the image of Trowa and Wufei, naked and wrestling in the mud, flashed into his head. Despite himself, Duo burst into a fit of laughter, startling Heero awake.

"What the hell is wrong with you?"

Duo was laughing too hard as first to answer, but he finally gasped out. "You don't...want...to know."

"Then shut up and go to sleep."

In the face of such immovable black humour, even Duo's laughter tailed off and he grimaced. "You sure know how to shatter a mood." He received no reply. He closed his eyes again, hoping the image had done the trick...

...and awoke with Heero in his arms again. He was pressed against Heero's back, his free hand caressing the other boy's cheek. This time, however, Heero seemed asleep. It was too much. He carefully modulated his breathing so that if Heero awoke, he would think Duo asleep, then, he surrendered to the fantasy. His hand ran through Heero's hair and down to caress the nape of his neck. He touched his bare shoulder, and traced the line of his tank top, dipping in quickly to tease a nipple, then dancing out again, as if afraid of getting caught. Finally, what he was doing, and how dead he would be if his victim awoke, caught up to Duo and he rolled away, pretending to fall into a deeper sleep.

A few minutes later, however, he sat up. He gently laid a hand on Heero's shoulder and rolled his over onto his back.

"Gomen nasai, Heero-kun. I can only hope that you're forgive me for what I'm about to do."

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Heero was a well-trained Gundam pilot. Once his senses had been primed by the first incident, there was no chance that Duo could touch him again without his knowing it.

So, when Duo's hand snaked around to caress his cheek, he awoke instantly. He was awake as Duo's lips teased the fine hairs on the back of his neck, and as his fingers played with his nipple. Rock hard and trying to control his shaking, he endured it all, unable, or unwilling, to awaken his victim. Just when he thought he couldn't stand it anymore, the questing hand withdrew and Duo rolled away with a sigh.

Throughout the ordeal, Heero had refused to give in to the suspicion that the other boy was awake, but when he sat up, Heero's heart sped up. He continued to feign sleep, even as Duo rolled him over onto his back.

"Gomen nasai, Heero-kun," Duo whispered. "I can only hope you can forgive me for what I'm about to do."

As he leaned down toward Heero, his thoughts rose in panic "Oh Duo, you idiot--:

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As Duo kissed Heero's thin lips, he was surprised to discover how soft they were, but even more surprised as his kiss was returned with vigour, and Heero's hand hesitantly raised to caress his face. He broke away, feeling the look of amazement on his own face, to see the familiar cold stare of his friend. Duo opened his mouth, trying to frame a question, but Heero's hands tangled in his hair and he was pulled roughly back down to meet Heero's lips again.

Their tongues warred ferociously, but just as Duo was about to relax into it, his head was pulled back sharply. Heero sat up, his firm grasp on Duo's hair allowing him to force his head back at an uncomfortable angle. Duo only half-repressed a cry of surprise and alarm.

"You get one thing straight," Heero growled. "I don't love you, and never will."

Duo managed a crooked smile, despite the pain in the roots of his hair and the cramp starting in his neck. "Well, I love YOU," he said. "And you're full of shit."

Heero's surprise was such that his grasp on Duo loosened and Duo was able to embrace him again, bearing him down and kissing him. The unconscious tenderness he felt in those lips told him better than words could that he was right.